This simple modular shelf offers plenty of options for reconfiguration. By Tom Nunlist Pages 58-59 One symptom of my pervasive early 20s restlessness is that I regularly overhaul my apartment, completely rearranging the furniture and décor once a month or so. It’s not so much that I can’t settle on a suitable arrangement, but that … Read more
Take the easy way out: Find sizes without measuring.
By Robert Lang
This small coffee table is a great introduction to building furniture. It doesn’t require much material and it’s an opportunity to develop your skills. This project is sturdy, attractive and easy to build. All of the parts come from standard widths of lumber. I used poplar from my local home center, and I made the table from one 6′-long piece of 1×8, one 8′ length of 1×6 and two 8′ lengths of 1×4.
Start by gluing the top from two pieces of 1×8 and one piece of 1×6. If you are cutting the parts from 6′- or 8′-long boards, leave them a couple of inches long, then trim them to the final length after the glue has dried.
The goal during glue-up is to keep the faces of the boards aligned. Use a couple straight strips of wood below for a level work surface and, if you need to, clamp straight pieces across the top and bottom to hold the edges in alignment while the glue dries.
Let the glue dry overnight, then trim the top to length. Clamp a straightedge across the top to guide your jigsaw or circular saw to make the cut. When the top is at its finished size, set the blade of your combination square at 2″ and draw lines in from each corner on the underside of the top.
Download the PDF of this article for the drawing and cutlist:
Contemporary Coffee Table
Video: Learn a quick and easy method for finding the center of an edge with a combination square.
Plan: Download a free SketchUp model for the “Contemporary Coffee Table.”
Articles: All the “I Can Do That” articles are free online.
Recipe for successful design: Steal your ideas from the best.
By Robert W. Lang
From the October 2010 issue # 185
Buy this issue now
I designed this buffet cabinet a couple years ago for a weekend seminar on Arts & Crafts joinery. After the class I added a 3-D model to the Popular Woodworking Magazine online SketchUp collection. It was an easy way to provide detailed plans for those in attendance. As time passed, the model rose to the top of the collection, based on popularity.
My goal in designing it was to combine several classic elements from the early 20th century, without building a reproduction of any one piece in particular. I was looking to design a piece with a contemporary feel, but that was grounded in traditional Arts & Crafts period elements. Apparently I swiped the right details from the right sources to make a successful piece.
The wide overhanging top with breadboard ends, the fi nger-jointed drawer and the sculpted handles were all borrowed from the designs of Charles and Henry Greene. The proportions of the door stiles and rails were lifted right from the Gustav Stickley stylebook, and the double-tapered legs are a Harvey Ellis element turned upside down.
Equally important are the overall proportions and the rounded edges that ease the transitions where there is a change of direction or a change in plane. The light color of the soft maple keeps the cabinet from looking too formal or too masculine. Absent are the elements often seen in new pieces based on old designs. Corbels and spindles were banished to the land of overused and misapplied design features.
Video: Watch Bob’s table saw techniques for cutting the drawer finger joints.
Plan: Download a free 3-D model of this project in SketchUp format.
Web site: Bob has written several books about Art & Craft furniture; they’re all available from his web site.
Blog: Read “Peart’s Punches for Perfect Square Holes.”
In our store: “Greene & Greene Furniture: Poems of Wood of Light.” Read more
This morning Chuck Bender from Acanthus Workshop stopped by the office on his way to deliver a piece of furniture to a client outside Cincinnati. After the traditional 15 minutes of Glen D. Huey and Chuck exchanging pastries (it’s Chuck’s birthday) and giving each other a rash of crap, Chuck let us have a little … Read more
This coming week I’m starting to build a pair of close reproductions of the White Water Shaker Meeting House benches. Earlier this summer I measured the original bench, which is in a building near the Meeting House. When I’m done with these reproductions, we’re donating the benches to the Friends of White Water Shaker Village, … Read more
Our staff offers simple, strong and fast ways to make this important furniture component. By Christopher Schwarz & David Thiel Pages: 90-95 From the October 2004 issue #143 Buy this issue now In woodworking magazines, books and plans there’s almost always an omission that’s big enough to drive a truck through: How to build the … Read more
Take a visual tour of the Nancy and Ed Rosenthal collection of fine Ming Dynasty Furniture. You’ll get a basic knowledge of the style, materials and joinery used. Read more